There are regulations and legislation in place that state that an employer has the duty to maintain and prove they are maintaining all of their electrical appliances/ equipment used in the work place. The easiest and most cost effective way of ensuring this is done is to have portable appliance testing carried out.
The following are portable appliance testing regulations that are in place:
The health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that it is the duty of the employer to ensure the safety of all employees (including self employed individuals) using the work premises.
This act places an obligation in the following circumstances:
• Appliances are used by employees.
• Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.
• Appliances are supplied or hired.
• Appliances are repaired or serviced.
The second of the portable appliance testing regulations is set by the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and states:
“Every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of:
(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work, and
(b) the risks to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him or his undertaking.”
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states:
“All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”
“As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”
“‘System’ means an electrical system in which all the electrical equipment is, or may be, electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy and includes such source and such equipment”
“‘Electrical Equipment’ includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy.”
The last of the portable appliance testing regulations is set by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
“Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”
It is essential to comply with the above portable appliance testing regulations and ensure they are enforced within your workplace. The portable appliance testing regulations are in place so that the difference between employee or employer negligence can be defined. If as an employer the above legislations/ acts/ portable appliance testing regulations are not undertaken then you could end up with substantial fines or personal prosecution.
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